June 5, 2007

Albany Poets Present...The No Gimmick Open Mic, June 5

The first Tuesday open mic at Valentines, with the gimmick being there is no gimmick -- your host el Presidente Thom Francis. Or the gimmick is it is a pleasant 2 beers evening at Valentine's with friends, reading poems, talking about grandchildren, the upcoming weekend, poetry events, whatever, waiting for the tour bus that broke down in Selkirk. Even so, there was one new poet -- the magic of open mics.

I went first, as I've said before, because #1 was empty (as were 2 through whatever, with Marty taking the last spot). I did "Eight Hermit Thrushes" & the older "Tee-shirt Poems", which I'm glad I found again.

Sylvia Barnard did her "picnic poem" again, & it holds together nicely.

Annine, aka A.C. Everson read Allen Ginsberg's "C'mon Pigs of Western Civilization Eat More Grease" from her copy of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, made Thom & me hungry.

Thom Francis played a guessing game with a poem about a rose & Mary Panza knew it was by Rob Engelhardt, she is such a scholar -- we eagerly await her bio/critical study of Rob.

And then the new poet, Natalie Park, who said she had read once before (someplace) at an open mic, & this was her first time in Albany, and read an elegy to a friend, "What Lasts What Hangs" -- hope to see her later in the month somewhere.

Marty Mulenex told us earlier he will be hosting a poetry open mic at Richard Genest's Moon & River Cafe in Schenectady on Tuesday, June 26 (& perhaps every last Tuesday) at 7PM -- go Marty, go. He read a new poem for the the Gotta Get Gone Festival & "Take it For what It's Worth."

Then, it seems, the proverbial tour bus arrived, too late, & Sahli Cavallero showed up. But enough time for conversation, personal history, flyers & plans for Saturday's (F)Art on Lark.

See, the "gimmick" is just getting folks to show up to have a beer or two, hang out, talk about the stuff of life, read some poems, & go home. No one takes over the world or becomes Poet Laureate, even the bartender (Kim 13) is happy, & we all go home to dream.